So I just got back from going to the movies with my friend Lisa and we saw the latest Disney offering Frozen and I went in with high expectations. Alonso Duralde from What the Flick said it was the ‘best Disney movie since Lion King’ and I believe it had 94% rating on rotten tomatoes. Pretty high praise!
I have always been a huge fan of animation and typically they are my favorite movies of the year. They certainly can be stinkers but the potential for creativity and clean humor is there too. This is certainly the case with Frozen and it is worthy of all the praise heaped on it. I liked it as much as Tangled if not more so, and I loved Tangled.
The story is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale The Snow Queen which I think will be new enough to most audiences to feel fresh and exciting. I have read it but it isn’t as familiar as say Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella (or Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast).
One nice thing about the story is there is no true villain. There is a helpless but powerful character but no true villain. In Pixar’s Brave there is also no villain and in that case I think it hurt the story but this has enough of a sense of dread to make up for a central evil character.
The voice cast is uniformly strong with Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell playing two sisters who are orphaned princesses in a far away land. They grow up isolated from each other and the public but are forced to interact with each other and the Menzel sister becomes upset and turns the town into an eternal winter.
Isolated she creates a castle and Bell’s Anna must go and find her sister with the help of a charming snow man (who is in the movie just long enough to be entertaining but not annoying), a reindeer and his owner named Kristoff. There is also a dashing Prince that figures in the midst and several other characters.
The cold and icy scenery is beautifully drawn and the songs by Robert Lopez of Avenue Q fame are wonderful. They are more obviously broadway style than anything since Beauty and the Beast (Tangled was wonderful in the score but more of a pop feel).
My only qualm with the music is that going out of it all of the songs kind of run together and sound similar. It’s not like Hakuna Matata or Be Our Guest where the song feels different and exciting, something new. Maybe part of that is I saw those movies as an impressionable child and I saw this at 32. I don’t know but I really enjoyed the music.
The story has a nice message about family, sisters, and the many forms of true love. It surprised me at points which is tough to do in a princess movie and the snowman was very funny. It’s completely appropriate for young children with only one scary snow monster that isn’t too frightening and is only in the scene briefly.
I think any young girls would love it. Whether it will appeal to young boys I’m not sure. It doesn’t have as much to appeal to boys as Tangled but there is some (the snowman, Kristoff, the reindeer would appeal).
So, go! Take your kids, especially your girls to see Frozen. It is worth your money and will be an experience that will stick with them forever just like the princess movies stuck with me. Plus, these are strong, independent women who come to their own rescue without the need of Prince Charming. Love that.
Hope I didn’t spoil anything. Tried. Go see it. Let me know what you think! 🙂